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Walkie-Talkie (application radio set)

The name of the base system (platform): Apple Watch
Developers: Apple
Date of the premiere of the system: 2018
Branches: Internet services


2019: Blocking of the application because of unauthorized listening of iPhone

On July 10, 2019 Apple blocked function of the radio set in Apple Watch through which as it became clear, it was possible to wiretap someone else's iPhones without the knowledge of users.

The application which work was stopped by Apple is called Walkie-Talkie — in honor of the first figurative radio set. The program allows owners of the Apple Watch smartwatch to send quickly each other short voice messages by means of the push-to-talk function. The company added Walkie-Talkie to the watchOS operating system in 2018.

Listened to users of iPhone through a hole in the Walkie-Talkie application in Apple Watch
Listened to users of iPhone through a hole in the Walkie-Talkie application in Apple Watch
We just learned about the vulnerability connected with the Walkie-Talkie application for Apple Watch and turned off this function.  We apologize to our clients for the inconvenience and we promise to recover functionality as soon as possible … We came to a conclusion that shutdown of the application was the correct solution as this error allowed someone to wiretap iPhone of other client without his consent — said in Apple to the TechCrunch edition.

The company noted that she does not know of any cases of unauthorized use of vulnerability against clients. For wiretap of a talk certain conditions and the sequences of events are necessary, added to Apple.

The Walkie-Talkie application is blocked until the update eliminating vulnerability is released. Terms of an exit of this correction are not called. The program remained set on devices, but its work is suspended.

TechCrunch notes that the revealed problem reminds vulnerability in group video calls which was detected in 2019 earlier. Because of that error users could hear the person on other end of a wire without acceptance of a call. Then Apple was required one and a half weeks on vulnerability elimination.

In July, 2019 Apple also released update which deletes the Zoom service working in the background allowing to be connected to video conference without the permission from the macOS operating system.[1]

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